One Suffocates To Death Vandalising Akwa Ibom School Property

The PUNCH reports that at least two persons have been jailed and one suffocated to death in a ceiling while stealing property belonging to the Government Primary School, Aka Offot, in the Uyo metropolis, Akwa Ibom State.

The village head of Aka Offot, Etteidung Udo, disclosed this while speaking to journalists in Uyo on Tuesday on the dilapidated state of the school in his domain.

The traditional ruler described the vandalism and rampant stealing of property belonging to the school as alarming.

Udo said, “The stealing and wanton destruction of property at the Government Primary School, Aka Offot, Obio Imo, is very pathetic and has continued for a long time now despite government’s interventions.

“I appeal to the relevant authorities to come to our rescue. We have tried our best. Two have been jailed as a result of the vandalism, while one died while trying to escape.”

He called on the state government to, as matter of urgency, erect a high perimeter fence to reduce invasion of the school premises.

An official of the school, who asked not to be identified, said the invasion started in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

According to her, before the lockdown, desks provided for pupils were intact and the roofing sheets were untouched.

She, however, said before the school could resume from the lockdown, almost all the desks, tables and chairs, including roofing sheets, were removed.

“This room was full of windows and doors when we vacated around 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. But before we resumed, the windows, doors and roof had been vandalised.

“Since then, they continue to cut the roofing sheets when we close on Fridays. During weekends, they cut the roofing sheets. The headmistress had to report the incident to the ministry of education with pictures.

“The headmistress’ office was not spared; they climbed through the ceiling and packed all desks; that is why you see pupils sitting on the floor.

“When we reported to the ministry, the commissioner for education and the permanent secretary visited the school and promised to intervene,” she added.

She said construction work had commenced in one of the classroom blocks to alleviate the plight of the pupils.

The official decried the extent of vandalism as pupils sit on the floor to write their examinations during the rainy season.

“Last year during the rainy season, the pupils sat on the wet floor to write their examinations; there were no desks for them, as all had been carted away by hoodlums.

“Now, we thank God inter-ministerial government intervention has come to renovate one of the blocks. The village head of Aka Offot and the community are aware of the vandalism,” she said.

The Commissioner for Education, Mrs Idongesit Etiebet, promised that the ministry would get the State Universal Basic Education Board to intervene in the condition of the school.

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